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Home » Miscellaneous

Balinese Love Story  

by on Wednesday, 14 February 2007No Comment | 2,762 views

In accordance with the celebration of Valentine day, today’s article will talk nothing but love and to ensure that this article will talk nothing but love, I will not write anything, instead, I invite you to enjoy the most popular love story in Bali, The story of Jayaprana and Layonsari.

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

A long time ago in the kingdom of Kalianget, a small village in North Bali, there lived a powerful king, whose name has long been forgotten. It happened that an epidemic struck the whole village, killing most of the villagers. One of the few survivors was a little boy called I Nyoman Jayaprana, the only person in his family to have been spared from the disease.

Nyoman Jayaprana had to live a lonely and sad life. One day he met the king’s chief minister, who was a generous man. ”Nyoman, will you be willing to live in the palace and serve the king?” offered the king’s aide. After a moment of consideration, Nyoman accepted the offer.

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

In the palace Jayaprana grew up to become a handsome, brave and intelligent young man. At the age of 21, he was able to ”kakawin”, chant and sing poetical texts written in old Javanese. No wonder Jayaprana became the apple of the king’s eye. The king thought it was time for Jayaprana to be married. He was to choose one of the king’s maids to be his wife. However, none of the maids appealed to him.

The king then suggested that Jayaprana look for a girl of his own choice outside the palace. He went to the market and he saw a very beautiful girl, called Ni Nyoman Layonsari, daughter of a silk merchant, and fell in love with her. Layonsari too, later fell in love with Jayaprana. The lovers were then engaged to be married.

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

Soon, the wedding took place at the palace. Everybody was very happy. The bride and the bridegroom appeared to be a perfect couple. However, the king was not happy at all. He was struck by Layonsari’s beauty, became crazily enchanted by her and immediately envied Jayaprana. In his heart he said, ”Jayaprana does not deserve this beautiful woman. He is only my servant. I am king. Layonsari shall be my wife.”

After the wedding party, the king summoned his chief minister, Maha Patih Saunggaling. He expressed his anger to this loyal man. ”Layonsari is too precious for a servant like Jayaprana. I want her,” said he angrily. The king then had a cunning idea to get rid of Jayaprana. ”Go to Teluk Terima [a small district to the west of the kingdom], and kill him there, but you must not let Layonsari know about this,” he ordered.

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

The following day, Jayaprana got an order from the king. He was to go to Teluk Terima, accompanied by Saunggaling, to fight the Bajo people who were destroying the forest in West Bali. Jayapraya was an obedient man. He agreed to face the danger despite the happy moment he was enjoying. That night, Layonsari was very worried. At about midnight, she had a nightmare. There was a big flood in all parts of the kingdom, washing away the palace and their home. The bad dream was a bad omen to her. ”What will become of my husband and me?” she wondered.

The following morning, Jayaprana and Saungggaling set off, leaving the sad Layonsari in tears. Prior to leave for battle field Jayaprana makes his time to deliver an alluring flower to Layonsari with the message: “if the flower turns wilted, it indicates that he is killed.”

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

Arriving in the jungle of Teluk Terima, Jayaprana did not see any enemies around. He asked Saunggaling about the enemies. In response to the question, Saunggaling produced a letter the king had given him and asked Jayaprana to read it. It read, ”Jayaprana, I have ordered you to this place because I want to get rid of you. Saunggaling is to cut your head off and Layonsari shall be my wife.” After reading the letter, Jayaprana realized that the king’s order was just a devilish trap. He was loyal and obedient to the king. Saunggaling then killed him.

Meanwhile, in the palace, Layonsari was convinced that something bad had happened to her husband, just as a flock of crows came and perched on the trees around the palace and the flower given by his husband has been wilted.

”Layonsari,” the king called her, ”I feel very sorry that my beloved man, your husband, has died in the fight in Teluk Terima. I understand how difficult it is for you to face this, therefore I’ve come here to propose you to be my wife,” he said.

Jayaprana dance by Lila Bhawa dance troupe on Bali Arts Festival 2006

”No! Impossible. I’d rather die,” Layonsari refused firmly, arousing the king’s anger. He stepped forward to grab Layonsari, but she ran, she ran to the place where the kingdom’s weapons were stored. The king ran after her quickly, but it was too late. Layonsari picked up a kris dagger and stabbed herself in the chest. Blood gushed from her body. ”Layonsari!” the king screamed and cried, knowing that he had failed. He was furious and went wild.

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